Selling your food at farmers markets is a great way to reach new customers and find raving fans who can’t get enough of your goodies. However, what you don’t want is to put in all that work, then turn up and not sell a thing.
Instead, you need to add some marketing ideas to your farmers market business plan and make sure you’re going to be a success, before you even arrive to set up!
If you’re wondering how to market your farmers market booth, then read on for our farmers market marketing ideas.
Before you attend any markets, think about who you want to sell to. This will, of course, depend on what you make. Farmers markets are often attended by people who are happy to pay a premium price for homemade, high-quality food. They’re looking for food with fresh, quality ingredients, and tend to enjoy eating seasonally to fit with what’s in season right now. These people are quite often health-conscious and want to see ingredients without preservatives and with healthy and/or vegan or vegetarian options.
On the other hand, you may sell the most sinfully delicious chocolate doughnuts the world has ever tasted. You’re not for people who are counting calories. You’re for people who want a treat and don’t mind paying for beautifully made, hand-crafted goods.
Think about who will buy your products, because this will affect everything from your website to every last part of your marketing.
Once you’ve decided on your audience, you can go from there with your marketing.
Even if there are several other empanada makers at your farmers markets, it doesn’t matter. Farmer market vendors need to find a way to stand out. Don’t compete on price because that’s a losing battle that will eat away at your profits. But what can you do? What about you is different that you can focus on and market?
Do you offer your Abuela’s secret recipe, Huevos Rotos, passed down for generations? Do you dress up in themed costumes at events? Is it your humor when marketing that makes you stand out?
Find out what makes you unique and market it loud and proud. This will get you attention and you should stand out from your competitors.
Research every aspect of each farmers market you attend. Research what sells best. Learn the venue and where you’ll be placed. Think about how you can make the most out of each event.
It’s far easier marketing at farmers markets when you know what to expect.
Pro Tip: Get everything organized well in advance so you aren’t rushing on the day. You don’t want to forget anything vital, like your cash box and items for decorating your stall.
You need to let people know in advance that you are attending your markets so they can plan ahead if they want to buy from you. This also creates anticipation in customers’ minds, especially if they’ve shopped with you before. You just know that if you talk about your homemade fudge and chocolates, their mouths will be watering already before they even arrive at the market.
Share your events on your social media and in your newsletter. Create leaflets to hand out at current events to advertise where you’ll be next.
Put all your events on your website. People are busy, and while you will get impulse buys and walk-ins, you’ll do better with sales if people can see your event dates in advance and make the time to show up.
If you don’t yet have a website, take a look at Castiron’s free website builder that's tailored just for food businesses.
Your research into each event should pay off here. Hopefully, you can think of farmers market event ideas so that your stall isn’t just one of many on the day.
While your stall should reflect your business branding, including colors and fonts, make it stand out with colors that attract the eye, and team t-shirts or workwear that reflect your business.
Think about what else you can do to attract attention on the day.
While this might not be an obvious one from a marketing point of view, it’s definitely a good idea. Here’s the thing, if you have an alternative way to keep selling your goodies even if the weather isn’t ideal, you can keep making sales and being there for your customers, when others can’t.
This shows that you’re reliable, trustworthy and professional, and that’s good for your reputation with customers and with farmers markets. You’re far more likely to be invited back, and to get invited to new events, if people can count on you to show up and do your part, no matter what the weather.
While it’s not promotion in one sense, it is marketing. It’s building your brand and your business reputation.
Not all market vendors are your direct competition. Look up attending businesses that aren’t your competition and see if you could promote each other. If you sell bread and there’s a jam maker or a cheese maker in attendance, what a perfect match that is to do some cross-promotion for each other.
You could even run a joint competition on the day to get people to visit each stall.
Think about where you can advertise locally. You might be able to get an ad or a story in the local paper. Sometimes local shops will put up posters for you, and libraries might accept leaflets. What can you think of in the local area that you can use to advertise your stall before the day of the farmers' market?
Take advantage of any advertising the farmers market is doing. If they offer any advertising packages, such as appearing on their website or on their leaflets, try it out and see if it makes a difference to your footfall and sales. A farmers market advertisement might just make all the difference to your bottom line.
If there’s anything that stands out about your business, particularly anything newsworthy, make sure to tell the local media, like town newspapers, about it, well before the next outdoor market. You might just get a feature that makes you stand out above everyone else at the event.
While she doesn’t sell food, we know of one epic fantasy author who wears battle armor and carries a sword at every event she does. It makes her stand out, it’s a huge talking point, and people are massively attracted to her stall. And yes, it works to sell her books and local media outlets love the story.
That’s just one example. What can you do that will get your food business to stand out like that? Think about what fun farmers market ideas you can use.
If you’re struggling to think what to say in your blog posts, social posts, and newsletters, think about this: There’s more to the farmers market than just your stall, so there’s always more to say.
That might sound counterintuitive. After all, you don’t want to be promoting your competitors over yourself. But use all the information you have to help you create content for your marketing. The more appealing you make the whole market sound, the more chance people will come. And obviously, the more footfall you have, the more chances you have of making a sale.
This will also give you massive brownie points with the organizers and other businesses. And they just might do the same for you in return.
Just getting started as a market vendor? Why not check out Castiron’s free and simple-to-use, all-in-one option for getting your website up and running? It’s really more than just a website for your food business. You can manage your inventory, get order notifications, get paid, and more. And you can grow your business with automated marketing, including emails and social media.
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